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An Eerie "No Phone Zone" Message

OwnmediaI will admit, I have a love affair going with my iPhone. The thing is amazing.  It has been totally life changing for me as a stay-at-home mom blogger juggling a lot at one time. Emails, texts, tweets, Facebook updates - it is all right at my fingertips! If I hear that fun little ding that I got a new message, it takes everything in me to not check it immediately. It has gotten to be addicting in that way.  But what that has also meant is I got in the habit of also checking it when I was at stoplights behind the wheel of a car until it took an eerie "No Phone Zone" message from my 4-year-old to slap me in the face.

Let me be clear, I NEVER text and drive, but I will take a call or make a call (hands-free, but still) or check my phone at red lights, which requires me to glance down at it.  One time someone behind me had to honk because the light turned green and I was looking at my phone. I felt embarrassed that I was so obviously distracted and had that twinge of a feeling that I should really be more careful. 

Then when Oprah started her "No Phone Zone" campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of texting or using your phone while driving, it made me REALLY think about what I was doing. But my behavior continued.  

To drive with two small children in the back of a car is distracting enough as it is.  My 4-year-old is super chatty and there is rarely a moment of silence when we are in the car. On top of it, I have "Mommy Brain" going full speed, thinking about a gazillion things...I really need to make that dentist appointment, where am I going to order the bounce house for the birthday party, when am I going to finalize my blog post for tomorrow, did I pay pre-school tuition, and ON and ON and ON. So driving with kids + lots going on my head = enough distraction already. Layer on checking emails or texts behind the wheel, and subconsciously I knew I was playing with fire. 

Then something happened a couple weeks ago that forever changed me. 

We were backing out to go on an errand, and my daughter out of NOWHERE says to me, "Mommy have you ever crashed a car?" Just that question sort of gave me the chills, and I said, "NO! What would make you think of that?" She is a girly-girl, so it is not like we have cars here that she plays with and "crashes" and actually have never even discussed car crashes, so it really was weird to me.   Do you know what she said?  "I dreamed you crashed the car." 

I got chills down to the bone and haven't been able to shake it.

Right then, I just got this FEELING, this weird intuition that she was telling me this as a warning. I already felt uneasy about not being the best driver, and this was my slap in the face.   Then I got all freaked out, like seriously, what if it was a message from God to save me from something really bad happening?  

From that day on, I have vowed to NEVER look at my phone again while I am behind the wheel of my car. To make it less tempting, I heard this from a guest on Oprah, I put it in the back seat in my purse where I cannot reach it.  Even if I am over thinking it, which I probably am, my family's safety is far more important than any tweet, text, email or call. What I was doing was just plain stupid, and I consider myself lucky to be given what I believe in my heart is a second chance. 

Therefore, I have officially taken Oprah's "No Phone Zone" pledge!  And, I wanted to share this story, because who knows if you are reading this post for a reason, too?  As moms, we have precious cargo on board, time to slow down and take the time in the car to do what we were supposed to do. DRIVE.

This is an Original Post to Orange County Moms Blog. 

Jennifer blogs {but never on her phone in the car} about fun finds for OC moms at her personal blog Tiny Oranges. You can connect with Jennifer on Facebook or follow her on Twitter

{Image is the official logo of the Oprah "No Phone Zone" campaign


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